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Brown sweeps MVPs

LASKER – A three-time Most Valuable Player is quite an accomplishment.

Lyndal Brown achieved that mark in one year.

The Northeast Academy junior was named MVP in tennis, basketball and softball by her teammates at the Tarheel Independent Conference school.

During her junior campaign, Brown played number one at NEA in tennis, was All-Tarheel Independent Conference as a forward/guard on the basketball team and was named the region’s Best Defensive Player from her position as shortstop on the varsity softball team.

&uot;She plays number one for me and is a very aggressive, very competitive player,&uot; Northeast tennis coach Jake Campbell said. &uot;She’s not the fastest player on the court, but she does move quickly to the ball. Lyndal is really a fierce competitor.&uot;

Campbell said Brown was the kind of player all coaches desire to have on their team.

&uot;She’s the kind of kid you always want to coach,&uot; he insisted. &uot;She takes coaching well.&uot;

For her part, Brown said playing for Campbell was something she enjoyed.

&uot;He has a different style of coaching I don’t see in other sports,&uot; she said. &uot;He knows the sport well and teaches it in a different way.&uot;

In both of the other sports Brown plays, she is coached by her mother, Northeast Academy Athletic Director Joella Brown. While admitting it is a challenge, Lyndal said she has enjoyed playing for her mother.

&uot;I enjoy it because not only do I get the work on the court and field, but I also get to have advice at home,&uot; she said. &uot;With both parents being coaches (father John is the varsity boy’s skipper at NEA), it’s fun because we are all competitive and we all hate to lose. We all have the same feeling whenever one of us loses.&uot;

Still, playing for a parent makes it difficult at times, Brown admitted.

&uot;I am pushed harder to prove I am capable of playing because she is my coach,&uot; she said. &uot;I work harder.&uot;

Joella Brown said having Lyndal on the floor made her job easier because it was like having another coach.

&uot;In basketball, she’s able to bring the ball up the floor and also is able to hit the board,&uot; Joella said. &uot;She recognizes offenses and defenses of the other team. It helps having someone on the floor that can do that. It’s like having a coach on the floor.&uot;

In softball, Joella said Brown provided the same leadership.

&uot;She could get the ball where it needed to be if it was hit to her and was good about directing the outfield on where to throw the ball,&uot; Joella said. &uot;She started out hitting the ball well and then slumped, but she pulled it back at the end.&uot;

Joella said one of the keys to Lyndal’s play and that of other team members at NEA was their ability as students.

&uot;Lyndal’s a good student academically,&uot; she said. &uot;I think if you have good student-athletes, it helps with your team. Most of my girls are members of the BETA club. If you are able to do things in the classroom and then apply those skills in athletics, it allows the coach to do some things you may not be able to otherwise.&uot;

Known throughout the TIC as a fiery competitor, Brown has earned the admiration and respect of her fellow Kathryn Vick Female Athlete of the Year.

&uot;She’s a very tough competitor,&uot; Ridgecroft’s Sarah Beth Greene said. &uot;When Coach (Doug) Cobbs looks at me before a game and tells me to guard Lyndal, I roll my eyes because she’s tough and she’s a good ball-handler.

&uot;It’s tough to play against her defensively and then, on the other end of the floor, she guards me a lot,&uot; Greene continued. &uot;It’s a tough game for both of us, but we have a mutual respect for each other.&uot;

Cobbs’ sentiments toward Brown were equally straight forward.

&uot;Lyndal Brown is the heart-beat of the women’s athletic program at Northeast Academy,&uot; he said. &uot;I think Lyndal’s a very talented young lady and she inspires the young ladies around her to be much better on the basketball floor.&uot;

Each of the sports Brown played during the 2004-05 campaign provided a different challenge.

&uot;In tennis, the best part was the state tournament,&uot; Brown said. &uot;We finally came in to our prime and went further than any tennis team at Northeast had in several years.

&uot;Basketball was the Lawrence game in the TIC tournament,&uot; she added. &uot;We finally clicked as a team and showed what we were capable of. We had some people step up and take charge when others had setbacks.&uot;

Her best memory in softball was making the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association state tournament and competing against state champion Lawrence Academy each of the times they played.

Brown was named All-Roanoke-Chowan in tennis, basketball and softball. She was runner-up for the Best Defensive Player Award in basketball and earned that same honor in softball.

(The Kathryn Vick Female Athlete of the Year Award is given annually by the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald for the female athlete that had the most successful year and demonstrated a positive attitude towards teammates, coaches and opponents. It is named in honor of the newspaper’s first Female Athlete of the Year. Vick was selected Female Athlete of the Year after being selected MVP in volleyball, basketball and softball at Ridgecroft School following her senior campaign.)